World No 1 in the hunt for Dhabi crown

WORKSOP'S Lee Westwood is five shots off the lead at the Abu Dhabi Championship after carding a round of 69 in the first round.

The 37-year-old, certain to stay top of the world rankings for at least one more week, kept his hopes of a winning start to 2011 alive after shooting three under par.

Sheffield's Danny Willett is also in contention after hitting five under par.

South Africa's Charl Schwartzel leads the way after firing an eight under par 64. He has a one stroke lead over three-time major winner Padraig Harrington.

Harrington's round included a chip-in eagle at the 597-yard eighth - his 17th - although that owed a little to the luck of the Irish.

The shot was struck went too hard and he admitted: "I was shocked it went in at that pace.

"On another day that would have been 69. There were some errors in there, but I certainly got the most out of it."

Westwood, who has ruled out competing in the Players Championship, the richest tournament on the gold circuit, in Florida in May, said he was delighted with his overall performance in Abu Dhabi.

"It's a course I battle with and it was nice to make that (15-foot) putt on the last - I felt I deserved to break 70," said Westwood, who dropped a shot at the sixth.

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